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Victor Allen Byrnes was born on 1906 in Durant, Iowa. He graduated from the University and Medical College of Iowa at Iowa City in 1929 and did his graduate study in Ophthalmology at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Receiving his commission as a physician, he entered service in June 1929 with his first duty station being Letterman General Hospital, Presidio of San Francisco, Calif.

Between assignments to Barksdale Field, La., and Tripler Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii (1940-1941), the general attended the Army Medical School and Army Medical Field Service School at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and the flight surgeon's course at the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Field, Texas, 1934.

Following the Tripler Hospital assignment, General Byrnes entered on a teaching assignment in the Department of Ophthalmology at the School off Aviation Medicine (1941-1944) and again from 1947 to 1953, during which time more than 5,400 physicians were taught some phases of aviation ophthalmology.

Between teaching assignments he attended the Army Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Completing his teaching assignment at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas in 1953, General Byrnes joined the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served as deputy surgeon until August of 1955 when he returned to the United States to become director of professional services, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit. He is rated a chief flight surgeon.

General Byrnes has been awarded the Gorgas Award for his pioneer research work on retinal burns produced by atomic flash. This research was done during the eight years in which he supervised the research activities of the Department of Ophthalmology at the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He received his Board Certification in Ophthalmology from the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1943, and his Board Certification in Aviation Medicine from the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 1953.

General Byrnes has Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, Aero Medical Association, American Medical Association; Membership in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, Pan-American Ophthalmological Society; Honorary Membership in the Mexican Ophthalmological Society, Cuban- Aero Medical Society; and is a member of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology and the Association of Military Surgeons.

The general has authored numerous publications in the professional literature on clinical ophthalmological subjects, on teaching methods for instruction in ophthalmology and on chorioretinal burns produced by atomic explosions.

(Up to date as of January 1957)


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